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Rowan Berries.

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by crosslandkelly, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Does anyone have any good recipes for the above? There is a glut of them here at the moment, and I hate to see them all wasted. Are the any good for flavouring spirits?
    Cheers.

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  2. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I don't think they make good spirits, I think they're awfully bitter for that, but up to yourself.

    I make rowan jelly from them. It's traditionally served with meat. It's tasty, and its supposed to 'cut the grease' if that's an issue.
    To be honest though I think it's more use like a home grown version of the cranberry sauce really.

    Anyhow, the jelly is also really nice on oatcakes, on toast, etc. and good with good cheese.
    Generally if you like marmalade, you'll like rowan jelly.

    I think it's horrible just made with rowans, so take whatever other late Summer/ early Autumn fruits you can find, like apples and pears, and there's no hard and fast recipe for the mix of fruit. It's a judgement call. Some rowans I can eat straight from the tree, others...well, no. So, depending on your rowans I use about 1:4 rowans to apples.
    Wash the fruits, strip off as much of the stems as you can easily, roughly chop the apples and just barely cover with water. Bring to a simmer and let it all stew until the fruit can be mashed up with the potato masher. Strain through a jelly bag, or a colander lined with a couple of layers of clean tea towels. They'll stain, but it's a tea type stain that slowly will wash out. I keep old ones just for doing stuff like this. The better you strain it, the clearer your jelly will be.
    If you just want to make jam you need to remove all stalks and peel and core the apples first.

    Juice to sugar is 1:1. Pint to pound or Litre to Kilo.
    Bring to the boil, making sure the sugar crystals are all dissolved, and boil and test for setting. It'll go fairly quickly (apples and rowans are good pectin fruits) and the jelly will set well. It can be dried off further until it's like cotingnac/membrillo too, but it takes time and slow gentle dry heat to do that.

    It's a beautiful jelly and well worth making a decent job of making it.

    M
     
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  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Do the yellow ones taste as tart as the natural red ones?

    The taste improves hugely if you freeze them first.
    ( or let them hang on the tree &or a few frost nights if you are lucky to live in a cold area)
     
  4. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    ....if you can keep the woodpigeons off them :)
     
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  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Jam :
    1.5 liter of previously frozen and cleaned berries
    500 grams of sugar ( jam sugar is best)
    200 ml water

    Boil berries, sugar and water of low heat for 15 minutes. Remove foam as it formes.

    Place in jars.

    Jelly:
    2 liters of previously frozen, cleaned berries
    One large apple, cut in pieces, core and all
    0.5 liter water.

    0.9 kilo sugar per liter juice ( jam sugar is best)

    Mix berries, apple and water
    Gently boil, covered, for 35 minutes.
    Pour through Muslim cloth, un5il finished dripping
    Squeeze out remaining juice.
    Measure amount of juice.
    Add correct amount of sugar ( 450 grams for half liter of juice)

    Do the ‘jelly test’
    If not setting, add either more sugar, or add Pectine.

    Jar

    Mothers receive, inherited.

    Less sugar and more Pectine - excellent condiment to meat, but you need to keep jars in fridge unless you sterilized them well.

    I started appreciate these products as an adult.

    Yes, birds love them. In berry rich years there was enough for all God’s creatures, normal years we picked and froze.

    It is a Swedish saying - The more Rowan berries the colder and longer winter.
    Same in UK?
     
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  6. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Thanks Mary, the jelly sounds delicious.
     
  7. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    [QUOTE="Janne, post:

    It is a Swedish saying - The more Rowan berries the colder and longer winter.
    Same in UK?[/QUOTE]
    I have been amazed by the amount of berries and nuts about this year.
    I think we will have a cold winter. It's usually a good sign things will be cold.
    I read somewhere that another beast from the east is expected after Xmas so we'll see if it is true.
    I'm certainly paying attention as I have found when the hazelnut tree at the bottom of the road has a large crop then we get snow and get cut off here.
    It has the biggest crop I've ever seen! I've been gathering bowlful of hazels and they are comming down faster than I can pick them up. I've taken to using a broom to sweep them into piles. The next day it's like I was never there! Blackberries have been prolific too. And I've found a sweet chestnut tree covered in nuts... so I'm a busy woody girl at present. More like a squirrel than a human! :) :) :)
     
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  8. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    How do store/process the sweet chestnuts? We've got some trees in work that I could pick from but haven't yet as no clue what to do with them really (and then the squirrels get them).
     
  9. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Depends what you mean by 'flavouring spirit' - I've never tried but I don't think it would make a good 'sweet' spirit like sloes (and they're pretty bitter let's be honest). However, They may work as a 'botanical' in a home made spirit. I am considering elderberry, guelder rose and rowan as an autumn version. Of course, you don't use much of the berries as a botanical.
     
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  10. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Chestnuts are best roasted fresh as possible. Preferably on an open fire. Pierce then roast on a coal shovel. If you want to store them. Boil them. (Pierce the shell) de husk then peel off as much skin as possible then freeze. Use in chestnut stuffing at Xmas. Or you can puree them then freeze. Chestnut soup is good too.
     
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  11. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Yes I tried doing rowen vodka... orrible! Wasted a bottle of vodka on them
     
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  12. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    I was thinking the same about the tartness of sloes and rowans. maybe I
    I was thinking the same about the tartness of the sloes and rowans. I think I'll try a small batch of rowan gin and vodka. for purely scientific purposes of course. ;)
     
  13. Tengu

    Tengu Full Member

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    Rowans always look so tempting, with their glorious hardcore orange/red colour.

    I tried making the jelly; it was as bitter as anything, even with the sugar crystalising out, I added so much.

    Not for me.

    But it might work with other fruit.
     
  14. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Rowan Vodka is medicinal. Sweeten with honey, that is what they did back in the days when sugar was expensive ( Scandinavia and Finland had no colonies so no cheap sugar from cane)

    But, essential they are frost bitten.
     
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  15. SaraR

    SaraR Full Member

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    Thanks!
     
  16. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    They're not tart so much as that they're inclined to be bitter. They're not plums at heart like sloes, iimmc ?



    With apples or pears, even crabs, they're very good indeed. On their own, I think they're horrible.

    Janne's Mum's recipe for using them after their frosted sounds good, but I tried a bag that I had frozen and I didn't notice much difference to them. They went mushier more quickly in the pot.

    I think that every tree is a bit different. Maybe they've done more in Scandinavia to kind of encourage the better tasting ones. Like we did apples and pears, etc., here.

    M
     
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  17. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Good point!
    Maybe they did in the past, and then those were spread by the birds?
    Scandinavia is very poor in ‘wild fruit’, and what was available was an important additional food source.
    It fungi though. Only the Finns ate them by tradition. (Russian influence?)
    Historians tell us that during the mid 1800’, when Fenno Scandinavia had no summers, the Finns had much lower starvation mortality because they are fungi.

    There are a few other possibilities. Maybe the British Rowan is an extra bitter variety, ( naturally) or it was selectively bread for its beauty, ( then spread) but accidentally a bitter variety was selected?
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    It has an ’adult’ taste.

    Maybe a mix of crab apples and Rowan would be nice?
     
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  19. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    I still have that horrible bottle of rowan vodka. Would adding honey to it now improve it any?
     
  20. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Perhaps some damsons and a little sugar.
     
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